Thrilling Regular Season Finish for Mooretown Flags



The Mooretown Flags ended their Great Lakes Jr. C hockey regular season with a huge win after defeating the Blenheim Blades 6 - 5 in overtime and firming up 4th place in the standings.

"That was a thrilling game from start to finish!" said a jubilant head coach Doug Slipacoff after the game.

"It's probably some of the best 60 minutes we played all season from start to finish"



Blenheim, a big team in size were 4 - 0 coming into this game and the Flags knew they had their work cut out for them.

"I think today the guys kind of realize that it doesn't matter how big you are they put their gear on the same way we put our gear on." said Slipacoff



Just :08 seconds into the game hearts dropped as the Flags took a high sticking penalty and were short handed early in the game.  But spirits rose as Ryan Lyle picked up the puck and skated in and scored the first goal shorthanded :32 seconds later.


The period would continue with goals going back and forth and the Flags came out on top leading 3 - 2 after the first period. 

Blenheim's first goal was at 6:59 by George Wood,  Lyle added his second goal at 7:25 with Joe DeSena and Brent Blais assisting.  At 15:17 Blenheim tied the game with Brayden Hopkins scoring.  The final goal of the period was by Captain Matt Brandon at 17:32 with assists by Lyle picking up his 3rd point of the game and Joe DeSena added his second assist.


In the second both teams scored power play goals the first by Blenheim's Braeden Allore at 2:01 then at 14:48
Alec Seagers scored with Nolan Riley and Ben Morrison assisting. 

The Flags ended the second period leading 4 - 3.


Third period saw Bryce Broad tie the game once again at 8:34 but less than a minute later Parker Gilhuly from Cameron Rannie and Trevor Bogaert regained the lead. 



The two teams continue to battle it out and Blenheim scored their final goal at 15:48 by George Wood and the scored remained tied at five all at the final buzzer and the game went into 3 on 3 overtime.


"We made a point to go after their D and dump the puck in on them and finish our checks and I think in the third period they started to hear footsteps and a couple of turnovers and thankfully for us we were able to capitalize."



In the overtime period a couple of close calls in the Mooretown end but Parker Gihuly picked up the pass from Colin Osler near the blue line and with an attacker on his heals he skated in and made a diving shot that went in to win the game.



Blenheim outshot the Flags 47 - 39.  Flags netminder Brandon Johnson playing in his final regular season game earned the win with 42 saves. 


"On a special night for graduating player Brandon Johnson I couldn't ask for a better result for a great kid.  I'm very happy for him." Slipacoff said


Eric Stewardson suffered the loss made 33 saves.



Both sides went one for three on the power play.


"In our last 10 games I think were were 3 and 7 and we just had a lot of bad luck. said Slipacoff  "We just stayed positive and credit to the boys in the room, every time they come to the rink they are smiling and laughing and enjoying themselves and they don't get down. Today was playoff hockey when we needed a win and we got it so home ice is the advantage in the first round of playoffs."

"We set out at the start of the year that we wanted home ice advantage. Slipacoff said when asked what his overall thoughts were of his first year as head coach.

"Leaving it to the last home game maybe not the way I vision on achieving that but we did it and I'm so proud of the guys for just buying in and believing in themselves.  As a team today we finally showed what we are capable of and were ready for the playoffs."



With home ice advantage the expectation is that the Flags will meet Lakeshore in the first round.

"Lakeshore is a tough opponent." said Slipacoff "We matched up ok with them this year, they beat us a few times so we have some payback."

Final schedule will be release later this week.







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